- Craig Custance
It would have been a great story to have Teemu Selanne end his career on a high note, even a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. But there’s no shame in losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs; a lot of great teams have done so the past few years.
The positive is that the Anaheim Ducks got a glimpse of their future in goal, and it was mostly good until Game 7. They got valuable experience for their young forwards and defensemen, and with all the prospects with which GM Bob Murray has stocked this system, things look good in the future. And remember, they own the Ottawa Senators' first-rounder (No. 10 overall) this June, thanks to the Bobby Ryan trade last summer.
It still makes this an important offseason, with big names to replace in Anaheim, especially if Saku Koivu joins Selanne in retirement. It could be an interesting one, with these three issues the priority:
When Murray traded Dustin Penner at the trade deadline, it sure looked like he had another move on the way up front. It never happened, and Penner was probably a guy the Ducks could have used in the postseason, considering his success in the playoffs in previous seasons. Now, Murray has the offseason to add his impact forward.
Ideally, he brings in a No. 2 center to anchor a line behind Ryan Getzlaf's line, and there are a couple good ones to target. The expectation is that the Senators will move Spezza -- who is someone the Ducks should consider -- and we know the Ducks and Senators can pull off a blockbuster after last summer's Ryan deal.
If the new general manager in Vancouver is willing to move Kesler, the talented two-way pivot should also be at the top of Anaheim's list.